Bottom-up approach

The bottom-up approach (BUA)

  • Profilers work up from evidence collected from the crime scene to then develop a hypothesis about the likely characteristocs, motivations and social background of the offender
  • Aim of the BUA is to generate a a picture of the offender - their likely characteristics, routine behaviour and social background
  • UK uses BUA because its data-driven and allows the investigator to see the deeper details of the offence
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Investigative psychology (IP)

  • Investigative psychology (IP) matches details from the crime scene with statistical analysis of typical offender behaviour patterns based on psychological theory
  • The aim of IP is to establish patterns of behaviour that are likely to occur across crime scenes
  • This then helps to develop a statistical 'database' which then acts as a baseline for comparison
  • Specific details of the crime can then be matched against the database to reveal important details about the offender such as personal history, family background etc. This may also determine whether a series of offences are linked in that may be committed by the same person
  • The approach has concept of interpersonal coherence - the way an offender behaves at the scene (how they interacted with the victim) may reflect their behaviour in more everyday situations
  • The significance of time and place indicates where the offender may be living
  • Forensic awareness describes those people who have been interrogated by the police before which results ina change of behaviour as they become more mindful when 'covering up their tracks' 
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Geographical profiling (GP)

  • GP uses information to do with the location of linked crimes scenes to make inferences about the likely home of an offender aka crime mapping
  • The assumption is that offenders 'work' in geographical areas they are familar with therefore understanding their spatial pattern of their behaviours provides investigators assumptions of where the offender lives or 'works'
  • It also helps investigators make guesses about where the offender is likely to strike next aka jeopardy surface

Canter's circle theory proposed two models of offender behaviour:

  • The marauder - the offender operats in close proximity to their home base
  • The commuter - offender has travelled a distance away from their usual residence
  • GP can offer the investigators an insight into the nature of the offence such as if it was pre-meditated or opportunistic, additionally it reveals other important factors about the offender such as mode of transport, employment status and approximate age.
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Evaluation of BUA

  • There is evidence supporting investigative psychology. David Canter and Rupert Heritage analysed 66 sexual assualt cases.They found that using statistical techniques helps them find the likely characteristics of the offender. For instance, a computer progam identifies the correlations across patterns of behaviour. They found that several characteristics were identified as common in most of the cases such as use of impersonal language and lack of reaction to the victim.
  • There is evidence supporting geographical profiling. David Canter and Samantha Lundrigan collected information from 120 murder cases. They found the location of each body which were disposed by the killer was placed in a different direction from the previous, creating a 'centre of gravity'; the offenders base was located in the centre of the pattern. This effect was more noticeable for offenders who have travelled short distances (marauders). This shows that spatial information is a key factor in determining the base of an offender.
  • There is some scientific basis for the BUA because its more grounded in evidence and psychological theory and is less driven by speculation, in contrast to TDA. Investigative psychology helps with areas such as suspect interviewing and examination of materical presented in court. Which supports it being beneficial of the judicial process. 
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